Recently, Hindu devotees assembled at Sri Venkateswara Temple in Helensburgh (NSW) to celebrate the traditional ceremony of Maha Kumbhabhishekam, the ritual of purifying devalaya (temple) ground.
Among the gathered included 15 Hindu priests and 20 thousand devotees who have come to witness this auspicious occasion from India, Malaysia, Mauritus, and Singapore.
Sri Venkateswara Temple is one of the largest and most famous Hindu temples in the southern hemisphere. The construction of Sri Venkateswara Temple started in 1978 as per Vedic principles (Agama Sastras) and it was open to devotees in June 1985.
During the Mahakumbhabhishekam (consecration of the temple by sacred waters) event a havan (sacred fire) is lit by learned priests who also climb to the roof of the temple to sprinkle holy water into golden pots to purify the temple premises, deities, and the devotees.
In June 2022, the temple started a $3 million renovation involving the construction and repair of stone deities. Local contractors were helped by specialist masons and painters from India along with hundreds of volunteer devotees.
Mahakumbhabhishekam is believed to bring prosperity to the entire community. As per Agama Shastras, this ritual is done to homogenise and unite the mystic powers of the deity.